Starting a business is tough work. If it was easy, everyone would be working for themselves. But it can also be extremely rewarding and fulfilling – if you do it right.
Avoid these common mistakes when starting your business to increase your chances of success.
1. Not Having A Clear Vision
One of the most important things a start-up can have is a clear vision and – even better – a business plan. If you don’t know where you aim to be in a year (or 5), chances are it’ll be trickier for you to get there.
Take the time to document your goals and come up with a strategy to direct you. Sure, you might end up taking a few detours along the way, but having a clear plan will help you stay on track to success. It will most likely save you some time and money, too.
Top tip: You can find free business plan templates and guides online to get you started. Download a copy from the Australian Government here.
2. Trying To Do Everything Yourself
Running a business is hard work, and you can’t do everything yourself, so don’t run yourself into the ground trying. At some point, you’re probably going to need to hire someone to lend a hand.
Get some support and grow your team as required to keep things running smoothly. If funding salaries is a problem, consider waiting until you have enough money to afford a hire or two before you start.
Top tip: Not sure where to start on your start-up hiring journey? Check out these tips from Smart Company.
3. Not Doing Any Market Research
How can you know if people will even want your product or service before you test them first? Market research is an absolute must for start-ups. Before you go investing time and money (and hopes and dreams) into your new business, test your product or service first to determine whether or not you’ll have customers.
It doesn’t hurt to check out the competition, either. You should find out your competitors’ quality and prices, as well as market saturation in your area. Is there space for your business, or should you venture out to another suburb that’s in need of your offering?
Top tip: A great starting point for your market research is some good old-fashioned mystery shopping, checking out your competitors in person. For more market research tips, check out these ideas from Business Queensland.
4. Choosing The Wrong Business Name
No, we don’t just mean picking a name that’s hard to spell or oddly unrelated to what your business does. We mean checking to see if you’re legally allowed to use it.
Make sure you’re not infringing on someone else’s trademark before you go creating a Facebook page and ordering business cards with a company name.
Top tip: You can check if your name is available for free on sites like this one.
5. Mismanaging Your Inventory
Effective inventory management is a must for all businesses, especially start-ups. Accurate stock tracking ensures you can find what you need when you need it, and can fill your customers’ orders on time.
Top tip: Forget hunting through piles of paperwork and boxes of stock for that invoice or order. A business storage unit can help keep your files and inventory organised. We even offer a records management service to organise your paperwork and retrieve and deliver documents to you as you need them.
And remember, running a successful and profitable business is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t see success over night. Building your business takes passion and patience, so keep at it!